The Impact of Governance Bots on Sense of Virtual Community Conference Proceeding uri icon



  • Bots are increasingly being used for governance-related purposes in online communities, yet no instrumentation exists for measuring how users assess their beneficial or detrimental impacts. In order to support future human-centered and community-based research, we developed a new scale called GOVernance Bots in Online communiTies (GOV-BOTs) across two rounds of surveys on Reddit (N=820). We applied rigorous psychometric criteria to demonstrate the validity of GOV-BOTs, which contains two subscales: bot governance (4 items) and bot tensions (3 items). Whereas humans have historically expected communities to be composed entirely of humans, the social participation of bots as non-human agents now raises fundamental questions about psychological, philosophical, and ethical implications. Addressing psychological impacts, our data show that perceptions of effective bot governance positively contribute to users' sense of virtual community (SOVC), whereas perceived bot tensions may only impact SOVC if users are more aware of bots. Finally, we show that users tend to experience the greatest SOVC across groups of subreddits, rather than individual subreddits, suggesting that future research should carefully re-consider uses and operationalizations of the term "community."

publication date

  • November 7, 2022

has restriction

  • bronze

Date in CU Experts

  • January 27, 2023 4:57 AM

Full Author List

  • Smith CE; Alam I; Tan C; Keegan BC; Blanchard AL

author count

  • 5

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2573-0142

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 30


  • 6


  • CSCW2